I’ve listened to UMass Associate Athletic Director Kim Callicoatte speak numerous times, however on Thursday afternoon I was listening to her with a whole new perspective. Being a UMass athlete, I’ve listened to her speak to my team and I about a number of topics, usually about compliance, making sure we follow the rules of the NCAA and know the consequences if we violate them. On Thursday, I was no longer an athlete being spoken to, but a reporter in a way, speaking to her.
It was certainly a new experience for myself being on the other end of the athlete-media spectrum, and one that I’ll be getting used to, as my career of a collegiate athlete will soon be morphing into that of a reporter (hopefully).
While this idea was one that consumed my thoughts for a while after the interview, during the interview I was given some valuable information to help out with my final paper. To be honest, although I knew the topic I wanted to report on, I was unaware of the angle I was going to take. By listening and taking in some information from Kim Callicoatte, I believe I found an angle to take on the current issues surrounding collegiate athletics.
Kim gave off a very positive attitude concerning our student athletes academic standing here at UMass, albeit alluding to the fact that our current men’s basketball team is struggling with regards to the APR. It got me to thinking, just how much is our athletic program helping our student athletes in the classroom to make sure that we perform in the classroom, and graduate on time? Being on the soccer team, and not many professional opportunities to worry about (Something she alluded to in her interview), our graduation rate is high amongst the athletic teams at UMass. However, because men’s soccer is not a top priority with regards to the rest of the teams here, we often get lost in the dust, so to speak. Yes, most our student-athletes are very good students, however, I know there are some who struggle and complain about the academic services.
So, what can our academic services do better to help out our student athletes? UCONN was mentioned to have recently boosted their APR; what did they do to help their athletes? And furthermore, how can we learn from UCONN? These are all issues I hope to find out for my final paper, along with a few others.